Tag Archives: Swansea City

Hakim Ziyech would thrive at Swansea City or Middlesbrough

Following the demotion of FC Twente, the future of Hakim Ziyech has become an interesting one to follow amidst Premier League interest. Swansea City and Middlesbrough have both been linked in recent days, which should excited fans of both clubs, as Ziyech has the potential to become a Champions League calibre number ten. In my opinion, he is one of the most exciting players to have come through the Eredivisie in recent years and given his club’s demotion and financial strife, he will be available at a very good price. If one of the clubs above manage to get the deal done for Ziyech, it would be a huge coup says Jake Jackman.

The Moroccan international was the standout player in the Eredivisie this season, not only for his goals and assists, but also for the manner in which he managed to get them. He was playing for a side that had to sell a lot of key players last summer, and a lot of pressure was put on him to carry the side. He was 22 at the beginning of the season and that is a heavy weight of expectation to carry on his shoulders, especially at a club with the esteemed history of FC Twente. Although the club won’t be playing in the Dutch top flight next season, that isn’t for footballing reasons, as Ziyech dragged them to a safe mid-table finish almost single-handedly.

Ziyech scored 17 times and gained 10 assists from the FC Twente midfield, in what was a hugely impressive individual season as a part of a struggling side. He was given the captaincy and led by example, showing that there is more to Ziyech than technical ability, but he is also a leader and revels in such a role. He has had opportunities to leave FC Twente in the last 12 months, but opted to stay put, and that decision has proven to be a great one from Ziyech. He has developed a lot over the last season and will be in a much better position to adapt to a new league when his inevitable move happens in the coming weeks.

In terms of his style, Ziyech is a risk taker in the final third, as he can play some sumptuous passes, which sometimes leads to a low completion rate. He is exciting to watch when he is dribbling with the ball as he is quick, nimble and uses skills effectively. His vision is that of a mature player, as he can see things other less talented attacking midfielders do not. He is good with both feet, and has an eye for goal. The most encouraging thing about his style is his intelligence in the final third as he knows when to shoot and when to pass to a team-mate. His set pieces are also devastating at times, and would be an asset to any side.

If he does come to England, comparisons will be drawn with Memphis Depay, who has struggled to adapt in the Premier League after a great season in Holland. Although there are similarities in that they were both involved in 27 goals, they are different players, with Ziyech preferring to play more centrally and is less direct than the Manchester United man. Depay wasn’t deployed correctly and has failed to make an impact as a result. Ziyech will need patience if he comes to England, as he will need to adapt to the more physical style of play that the English game is famed for.

He has adapted to every new challenge in his career to date. The midfielder adjusted quickly after his move to FC Twente, upped his game when his club put the attacking responsibility on his shoulders. He has also made his mark on the international scene quickly, already having two goals to his name for Morocco. It was a controversial decision to play for the African country after being part of a Dutch squad in the past and he could turn out to be a player the KNVB wish they would have made a bigger effort to keep.

The coming weeks will be interesting and Ziyech is a player who will no doubt continue to progress. He has overcome so many challenges already and his impressive ability to lead and perform to a higher level than he had before last season would have caught the eye of many European clubs. His mentality should mean he will get to the top of the game in the coming years, while his potential can’t be questioned. Whichever club gets him, will be getting a very talented dynamic number ten, capable of producing many goals and assists. He remains young and for the price that he will be available for, Ziyech offers little risk. Every club across Europe should be enquiring about him. The Premier League looks a likely destination, and after he adjusts to the physicality of the league, I expect Ziyech to thrive in England.

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Swansea set to sign Heerenveen’s top Swede stopper

Premier League side Swansea City are finalising a deal with Dutch side SC Heerenveen for Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt. The 25-year-old has a contract until the summer of 2016 writes Martijn Hilhorst.

Therefore the (unknown) transfer fee wouldn’t be that enormous for the Garry Monk’s side, who are seeking  a competitor for Lukasz Fabianski regarding the first goalkeeping position. As stated before, both parties have already agreed a transfer fee. Still, Swansea needs to do some convincing towards the Heerenveen-goalie, because it’s important for Nordfeldt that he will regularly play during the upcoming season with the Euro Cup 2016 in sight, where he will most likely will be called up by Sweden.

Kristoffer Nordfeldt has already made seventy appearances for SC Heerenveen since he joined in 2012 and the goalkeeper has not missed one minute this season and managed to keep his clean sheet in nine of 33 Eredivisie matches this term. Potentially, a great coup for the Welsh side.

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Dutch keeper joins Tottenham Hotspur

Dutch international shotstopper, Michel Vorm, is on the verge of being announced as a new player of Tottenham Hotspur. The move which comes as somewhat of a surprise given Hugo Lloris’ presence in Spurs’ squad, means Vorm will be given the chance to compete for a place against French international, Lloris.

No fee has been mentioned, but Vorm himself has spoken of his excitement at such an opportunity. The London-based club are set to compete in the Europa League next year, and Vorm expects to be given game time based on the hectic nature of their schedule next season.

Speaking to De Telegraaf, Vorm said “Every club has two top goalkeepers in their squad,” which might suggest he is happy to be second choice but continued, “It suits the club’s philosophy that there are two of us with Hugo and me. Especially when we see that Tottenham is active in a lot of competitions.”

Vorm clearly believes in his own ability to make an impact and capitalise on any chance that he is given with the first squad. Vorm was the third choice goalkeeper for a Netherlands’ squad that made it to the semi-final of the World Cup, but only featured a few seconds of play in the Third/Fourth place playoff during the competition.

Spurs’ and Vorm’s former club, Swansea, are currently swapping players at quite a rate. Icelandic forward Gylfi Sigurdsson is set to move back to Swansea, and Ben Davies has already signed for Spurs’, and joined them in Toronto on their preseason tour, from the Welsh club. Vorm is the latest transfer between the clubs.

Vorm turns 31 in October and began his career at FC Utrecht, amassing 157 appearances for the club before moving to Swansea City during the summer of 2011 and spending the last three years as the Swans number one.

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New Dutch manager for Swansea?

Speaking to Voetbal International, Swansea City director John van Zweden has stated that agent of Feyenoord head coach Ronald Koeman has approached him regarding the vacant Swansea City manager job.

Agent Koeman approaches Swansea City

Guido Albers approached fellow Dutchman Van Zweden, born in Den Haag, in interest of Koeman to become the new Swans manager from next season. Current Feyenoord coach Koeman, 50, has already declared that he will not renew his contract with the Rotterdam club which ends this summer.

Van Zweden also stated that he has passed the details onto Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins:  “I have passed on the telephone number of Koeman’s agent to Huw Jenkins but whether or not there has been any contact yet, I really do not know. I know that the club is very pleased with Garry Monk at this moment in time.”.

Koeman was one of the names linked with the Swans job in the immediate aftermath of Michael Laudrup’s dismissal last month. However, when questioned by the Dutch press that week, the coach stated that he had not had any talks with Swansea City.

Meanwhile, the bookies favourite still remains club legend Garry Monk to land the manager’s role on a full-time basis after making a promising start to his managerial career.

Koeman’s future is in the air and a move to the Premier League would suit the 50-year-old Dutchman, though a move to Greece or the Bundesliga in Germany has also been mooted.

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Koeman open to Swansea job

Obviously thinking about his future after informing Feyenoord that he will not be extending his contract past this May, Ronald Koeman has admitted that he would be interested in managing in England next season.

Koeman has been linked with the vacant Swansea City job since Michael Laudrup was dismissed last week, but the Dutchman has denied he has held talks with Swans executives about taking over there.

One thing is for sure is that Koeman will not be leaving the Eredivisie side until the end of the current campaign.

After watching his side defeat NEC Nijmegen 5-2 on Saturday evening, in the post-match press conference, Koeman told De Telegraaf: “These reports are strange, I have already agreed my agent here that he will sort out the options I have. He will do the homework at the moment and that is all.

“If that leads to something, I might be ready for it. But for now I will just wait and see what happens. I don’t think anything will happen right now.

“I think it will be April or May before I can clarify anything about my future. At this stage, there has been no contact with Swansea City.”

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“Daddy Cool” leaves for Swansea

Last season’s Eredivisie top scorer Wilfried Bony have joined English Premier League side Swansea City for a cliub record £12m, subject to a work permit.

The Ivorian striker, signs a four-year contract with the Welsh club and leaves Vitesse Arnhem after two seasons in Holland. He was the Eredivisie’s top goalscorer last season scoring 31 goals in 30 league appearances. In total at Vitesse, he has notched an impressive 46 goals in 65 games.

In an interview with Swansea’s official website, Bony stated: “The move has been talked about for quite some time, so I am delighted it is all completed. Now it is important that I focus my mind on the challenge ahead because I hope to make the Swansea fans very happy.

“I watched Swansea a lot last season on TV. They have some good players and I like the way they play. I appreciate the style, which is similar to the Dutch way, and I think being at Swansea will help me develop as a player.

“I believe it’s the right step for me; the perfect move. I had a lot of offers from all across the world, including England, France, Ukraine, Russia and the UAE.

“But I chose Swansea because it is a good club with a corresponding style, a great manager and, of course, playing in the Premier League. I considered everything and Swansea came out on top.’’

The pacy and powerful Bony was named Dutch Footballer of the Year for 2012-13 and had spells at Issia Wazi, in his homeland, and in the Czech league with Sparta Prague before arriving in Holland to join Vitesse in January 2011.

The transfer leaves Vitesse now wondering how they will replace their two major stars that fired them up to fourth place last year in the Eredivisie. Marco van Ginkel joined Chelsea last week and now with top scorer Bony joining him the Premier League, one wonders where the Arnhem club look to find replacements.

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